6 Ways to Use Smell as Your Secret Weapon

Ever think about how the act of smelling influences your life? Erica Bauermeister, author of The Scent Keeper, examines the effects of scent on your everyday life and offers 6 ways you can harness it as a tool. 

Erica Bauermeister
3-minute read
The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

Scent Lifehack #3: Remember Special Days

Our brains are wired to associate memories with smells. The more memories associated with a particular fragrance, however, the more diffused its impact will be. You can use this to your advantage. Andy Warhol was said to have kept a personal scent museum.  He would wear a fragrance for only a few months, then put it away.  When he smelled it again, he was vaulted back to that period in his life.

Have a special event coming up? Choose a new fragrance and wear it only on that day. Smelling it later can provide you with a moment of olfactory time travel. Not into perfume? Then give some extra attention to the scents in your choice of flowers, food, even a special cocktail.

Scent Lifehack #4: Look Younger

Feeling a little older than you want to be? Try adding a citrus scent to your life. In one study, men who were in a room scented with grapefruit thought the women around them were six years younger on average than they actually were (and it’s a fascinating explanation for why my fragrance preference unconsciously shifted from spicy to citrus at the age of 55).

Scent Lifehack #5: Gamble Less

In 1992, Steve Wynn commissioned a signature fragrance for his Mirage casino in Las Vegas. The results were astonishing. When the fragrance was emitted in the slot machine room, the amount of time people spent gambling increased by as much as 45%.

Going to Las Vegas? Most casinos have their own signature scents now. If you want to lose less money, maybe choose the casino whose fragrance makes you a little uncomfortable.

Scent Lifehack #6: Get in the Mood

Scents are constantly affecting us; we can choose to use them with purpose. The Tokyo stock exchange has been known to diffuse peppermint essence in the afternoons, to perk up its stockbrokers when their energy would naturally start to lag. The smell of cinnamon improves concentration. Lavender can help you sleep. Jasmine is known as an antidepressant. There are authors who drink a particular tea only when they write, the associated smell becoming an automatic trigger for creativity. And if you want to arouse a man, studies have shown that the solution is as simple as the aroma of pumpkin pie.

This is just the beginning. I encourage you to get out, explore. Inhale. There are small miracles in the air around you. The more you pay attention, the more they can be yours.


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